Whidbey Audobon presents Bird in the Hand Sunday

A Bird in the Hand, a close-up look at birds presented by the Whidbey Audubon Society every other year, is this weekend on South Whidbey.

The event is 12-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at Bayview Farm and Garden, 2780 Marshview Ave.

Entry is free.

Volunteers will preside in the nursery’s greenhouse with tables displaying the society’s collection of stuffed and preserved birds, which are organized by bird families.

Visitors can examine their delicate skeletons and unique plumage. There will even be a live raptor or two.

“Every child or adult, who passes by the tables at this event, becomes an enthusiastic birder,” said Robin Llewellyn, Audubon program co-chairwoman, in a news release. “As each bird is examined, the enthusiasm grows.

“Deft fingers carefully spread wings and then attendees pause to get a closer look at the spectacular colors and patterns of common birds like a rufous towhee, black-capped chickadee, wigeon and other frequently seen birds of Whidbey Island.”

Study the Belted Kingfisher’s footpads that help to excavate its burrow, see the red of a Red-tailed Hawk, look into a microscope and see the feather structure of an owl feather, she said.

Besides the bird specimen collection, other activities include a display of owl pellets and live raptors with their falconers. Longtime Whidbey Audubon member Steve Ellis will host an “Answer Man” table for the most daunting questions.

Habitat-friendly plants will be on display in the greenhouse and visitors may contact Bayview Farm and Garden staff to acquire similar plants in stock. The nursery has a reputation as an innovative business, focusing on a nontoxic approach to gardening and has always maintained a commitment of good stewardship to the sensitive island environment.